ibnlive » India

Sep 12, 2011 at 05:05pm IST

Orissa: 22 dead, lakhs affected by floods

Puri: Floods in Orissa claimed 22 lives on Sunday, and affected 14 lakh people across 19 districts. Flood victims have been complaining that no one has come to their rescue. Desperate villagers headed for safer areas after flood waters inundated their homes or washed them away. Several villagers took shelter on embankments and highways.

10-year old Kandhai and her family are among those rendered homeless. With not much left to eat, they are waiting for relief from the government which is yet to come.

"My house is already washed away in the flood water. I do not know for how many more days we have to live on these streets," Kandhai said.

Some like 62-year old Lata were not ready to abandon their homes. Lata and her grandchildren waited, hoping their house might be saved.

Lata said, "I feel so scared for my grandchildren. There is no electricity, no cooking in our house for the last two days. No one has come to our rescue."

More than half the districts in Orissa and over 14 lakh people have been affected. Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara, Jajpur and Sambalpur were among the worst hit. The state government claims 60,000 people have been evacuated to safer places. The government has mobilized Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force and engaged two helicopters of the Indian Navy for rescue and relief operation.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "We are taking all measures to mitigate the sufferings of the people affected by flood. After damage assessment we will also seek help from the Centre for the damage caused by flood."

The huge flood water that was released from the Hirakud reservoir has already reached the downstream causing large scale devastation. But unfortunately much of the flood water will not evacuate in the sea for at least another three days because of the tidal conditions owing to full moon.